Discover More, Southwest USA by Erin Azouz in Southwest USA

We sent Erin out with a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Southwest USA & Las Vegas to get her perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in her local area.

These photos speak to my relationship with the land here, and my quest to find the sacred in my surroundings.

Name:Erin Azouz

Can you sum up Santa Fe? Santa Fe is a wonderful and unique little city that offers so much culture and history. Plus its natural beauty is unlike anywhere I’ve been. The light and sky are pretty dramatic, which makes it a dream come true for photographers. Simply put, Santa Fe is a babe.

Can you sum up the people of Santa Fe? It’s pretty eclectic. Santa Fe attracts people from all walks of life. In my little corner of the city, I’ve crossed paths with lots of travelers and dreamers, as well as people living off the grid, and artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, scientists and teachers. One thing they all have in common is a love of the outdoors.

What was the experience like looking through a travel guide for your own local area? I’ve lived in Santa Fe for five years now and I still discovered so many new local spots in the book. I love how the book covers the typical tourist destinations, as well as places of interest that are off the beaten path.

Did you find anything new or inspiring about your area in the book? I discovered several new places just a day’s drive away. I’m definitely going to spend time exploring some new areas of the state I haven’t seen yet!

How did the guide influence the photos you took of your area? The guide made it really easy to find some beautiful natural scenery. It also made me look at my surroundings in a different way. I’ve been going to Abiquiu for several years now, but I never noticed the butte along the highway until I got the guidebook. Naturally, I had to stop and photograph it, and it ended up being one of my favorite photos in the series!

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Occupation: I work at a creative agency based in Santa Fe and San Francisco called 12FPS. I also work as a freelance photographer and graphic designer.

Describe a perfect day in Santa Fe: A perfect day in Santa Fe would begin with breakfast at home (usually eggs from our neighbor’s chickens and a bunch of greens from the garden, smothered in homemade red chile sauce), then a hike up to Raven’s Ridge in the Santa Fe ski basin for views of the Pecos National Forest. For dinner, I’ll eat a delicious New Mexican meal at La Choza followed by drinks with friends at the Secreto Lounge.

What do you love about Santa Fe? There is so much to love about Santa Fe, including the community, the food, the architecture, and the vibrant arts culture. But for me, nothing compares to the great outdoors.

What do you dislike? Only a handful of establishments are open late, but we’re working on it!

What would be surprising about Santa Fe to an outsider? The most common thing I hear from friends and family who come to visit is: “I can’t believe how green it is here!” We’re nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains along the edge of the Rockies at a 7,000-foot elevation. We are in and among the mountains here, unlike the sprawling deserts people usually associate with the Southwest.

What was your impression of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide?  The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide was a fantastic resource for discovering parts of New Mexico (and beyond) that I had no idea existed. It proved to be a great tool in finding things to do that were a little more obscure than the standard tourist destinations.


We have teamed up with our friends at DK Eyewitness Travel to bring you a VERY exciting giveaway. 20 DK Eyewitness Travel Guides and two big Global Yodel prints are up for grabs! Who wants them? Jump over HERE to win! 




Name:Erin Azouz


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Best place to eat?

I love the Teahouse & Tune-Up cafes. If you’re looking for something a bit exotic, or if you’ve had enough green chile, Jambo Café is a local favorite.

Best place to drink?

I love the Margarita Caliente at Del Charro. It’s a mango and green chile flavored margarita. Yum! The Secreto Lounge also has delicious and creative cocktails.

Best place to shop?

There are so many talented artisans in northern New Mexico. I love to purchase unique, handmade jewelry from native Puebloans outside the Palace of the Governors on the Plaza.

Best outdoor activity?

Hiking, which you can do just about anywhere!

Local tip?

The Frank Ortiz Dog Park has incredible views of Santa Fe. It’s my favorite sunset spot in town.

Must do:

Anyone visiting Santa Fe or northern New Mexico has to try the local red and green chile and a sopaipilla.